The organisation of riders into groups or ‘packs’ is critical to the success and safety of the ride and the enjoyment of all participants.
Depending on final numbers, there will be up to 10 packs comprising 15-20 riders. The aim is to group riders of similar ability together to ensure that each group can stay together and maintain a generally consistent pace throughout each day. The packs are ranked from the Youth Off The Streets Pack (comprising staff and students from Youth Off The Streets) through to Pack 1 comprising the strongest and fastest riders.
Each Pack will have an assigned Pack Captain and Vice-Captain (Sweep) to lead, manage and coordinate the Pack for the duration of the ride. Pack Captains are in charge of the Pack and their primary responsibility is the safety of all riders. The Sweep will ride at the back of the pack to ensure the safety of tail-end riders.
Naturally, riders are expected to follow the directions of their Pack Captain at all times.
Pack support vehicle
Each Pack has a dedicated support vehicle which will follow behind the last rider for that pack. The support vehicles are easily identified by their signage and flashing lights which are used for maximum visibility on the road. They are the ‘buffer’ between the riders and approaching cars/trucks. Support vehicle drivers are also in radio contact with the Pack Captain and the Sweep (Vice Captain) during the ride.
Each support vehicle carries a bike rack suitable for carrying all road bikes (including carbon fibre bikes), a first aid kit, additional drinking water and will carry each riders’ day pack. Riders should bring their own spare tubes, tyre and wet weather gear in their day pack so that they are easily accessible if needed.
Packs will be identified by a coloured ribbon which must be attached to your seat post or saddle bag and be clearly visible to the support vehicle driver.
The Ride Co-ordinator is responsible for assigning individual participants to the various packs. The allocation of riders to packs will consider:
- have you participated in the Sydney to Surfers Ride previously?
- what level pack you have previously ridden in?
- would you prefer to ride at that level again?
- are you participating in the ride with friends and do you wish to ride together?
- what is your riding experience and average speed over extended rides?
- do you have experience in pack riding?
Based on this information, riders will be allocated to an appropriate pack a few weeks prior to the commencement of the ride.
The level of pack you are initially assigned to can be varied during the ride. If you find that the pace is too fast or too slow, feel free to ask about changing to a different pack. Changing packs needs to be done in consultation and with the agreement of both your existing and new Pack Captains. If you wish to spend a day or half day riding with the Youth Off The Streets Pack you will need to consult with your Pack Captain and the Youth Off The Streets Team Pack Captain and do so with their agreement.
If you ride with a different pack at any time, you must change your identification ribbon to you new pack’s colour. Pack Captains will have a supply of extra ribbons.